Mon 20 Nov 2023 8:21 am - Jerusalem Time
The first demonstration in Israel against the war... new confusion for Netanyahu
Israel is preparing to face internal pressure to stop the escalation against the Gaza Strip, represented by demonstrations demanding an end to the war.
According to what was published by the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, Kan, on Saturday, in its account on the “X” platform, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality “succeeded in reaching a settlement in the Supreme Court, and obtaining police approval to organize the first anti-war demonstration.”
A day before that, the same body announced on “X” that, “For economic reasons, the security authorities are studying the possibility of reducing the number of reserve forces and demobilizing some of them to their homes, so that they can return to their places of work.”
Israel summoned more than 300,000 soldiers from the reserve force to participate in the war, which began after the Hamas attack on Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip on October 7.
According to the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, Israel pays more than $1.3 billion in salaries to these soldiers, in addition to half a billion bonuses, which places a burden on the country’s economy, which began borrowing as a result of the war.
Israeli reserve system
In 1984, the reserve service system was established in Israel, according to which every Israeli, after being released from compulsory service, is obligated to join the reserve forces unless he obtains an exemption.
The reserve system aims to strengthen the army in times of emergency at sea, land and air, and consists of 456 thousand soldiers, that is, double the Israeli soldiers who are in compulsory service.
These units participate in carrying out various security and military operations, and have combat capabilities acquired during service or during annual mandatory training.
Fears that Israel will launch a ground attack on the southern Gaza Strip
Economist Youssef Al-Tabei attributes the rapid impact of the Israeli economy on the call-up of the reserve forces, because this economy is “a machine driven by gears, and if one person goes out of work, it stops completely,” and that “the workforce in Israel is 80 percent of the reserve forces.”
Regarding the impact of the Israeli economy since the start of the battles, Al-Tabei explains to Sky News Arabia:
There are basic sectors that were so severely damaged that Israel tried to bring in workers from abroad, but found that it would pay large salaries.
The agricultural, industrial, oil and tourism sectors, even civil airports and administrative institutions, are now operating at half their strength.
The economy's weekly losses amount to $600 million, and the war in Gaza is apparently continuing and prolonged due to the failure of the Israeli army to achieve its goal so far of eliminating Hamas and returning the hostages.
Otherwise, Israel pays 5 billion shekels (about 1.25 billion dollars) per month in salaries to the reserve forces, and this is another burden on it.
Thinking about reducing the number of reserve soldiers is very logical for Israel, but it will lead to another security and military failure, especially if other fronts flare up, especially with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Likewise, military expert Jamal Al-Rifai expects the Israeli war to continue for months.
Regarding its impact on Israel’s economy regarding armament costs, Al-Rifai adds to Sky News Arabia:
Every week in this war, the Israeli army consumes equipment, weapons and ammunition worth more than a billion dollars.
The price of the least armored vehicle operating in the Israeli army exceeds half a million dollars, and there are tanks whose price exceeds 5 million.
The cost of the missiles that are bombing Gaza exceeds $250,000 each, and the cost of flying each time is about $50,000.
Even the Iron Dome missiles, the price of each missile exceeds 50 thousand dollars (they are intended to repel the missiles that the Palestinian factions continuously fire at Israel).
The economic cost to Israel is high, and Israel will be exposed to an economic disaster if the war extends for months or expands in scope.
Source: Sky news Arabi